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Black and white books

newborn - black and white picture

Your baby is never too young to enjoy books.

But did you know that your babies vision is limited at birth?

Experts agree that babies first see white, black, and shades of grey. From three or four months their colour vision will begin to develop, starting with red.

Black and white books with simple pictures and bold patterns are easier for babies to see and will help your baby learn to focus.

You can find black and white baby books in your local library or charity shop. You can even make your own at home by drawing shapes on pieces of paper!

To your baby, black and white shapes are vivid and exciting.

Read a black and white book just as you would any book:

  • Share it with your baby when they are happy, awake and calm.
  • Snuggle together and show your baby the pages slowly. Give them time to really look.
  • You can describe what you’re looking at: “Look, a circle!”, “Let’s follow the swirl” (you could gently trace the shapes with your baby's hand)
  • Your baby will like hearing your voice as you explain the things in front of them.
  • Pause often to give your baby time to look and respond.
  • If they babble or point, praise them and respond by copying them or with encouraging words. This is how babies learn about conversation.

Good to know

Looking at black and white shapes and patterns can help your baby develop their vision.